Our Top B2B Content Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2020

2020 B2B Content Marketing Trends & Predictions

Well, B2B entrepreneurs, it’s that point of 12 months once more. The vacation season is in full swing. The countdown to a brand new 12 months and a brand new decade has begun. And in fact, we’re all channeling our psychic powers, hoping to uncover what 2020 has in retailer so we will seize alternatives, put together for challenges, and in the end enhance the effectiveness of our content material advertising efforts. 

2019 was a bonding 12 months for elevating experiences, with many B2B entrepreneurs making vital investments in interactive content material, influencer content material collaborations, and multi-faceted campaigns. 2020 would be the 12 months the place many manufacturers will cement expertise as a method.

So, what does this appear like in 2020? Below we dive into our high 10 traits and predictions for 2020—every of which have overt or underlying ties to expertise.

TopRank Marketing’s Top B2B Content Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2020

#1 – The Evolution of Experiential Content 

In case you missed my opening: It’s the age of expertise, entrepreneurs. Research reveals that advertising leaders count on to compete on expertise now and lengthy into the long run.

“Customers don’t compare you to your competitors anymore—they compare you to other positive experiences they’ve had,” Shep Hyken, seasoned customer support and expertise professional, advised me not way back. “Satisfactory is a rating. Loyalty is an emotion. So, you need to figure out a way to create a lasting emotional bond.”

Satisfactory is a ranking. Loyalty is an emotion. So, you might want to determine a technique to create a long-lasting emotional bond. @Hyken #B2BContentMarketing #CX Click To Tweet

Certainly, creating unbelievable experiences doesn’t start and finish with the advertising division. But advertising chiefs and their groups have the chance to rise as CX leaders in 2020. How? With experiential content material.

Animated, infotaining infographics. Audio-guided eBooks. Gamified energy pages. Quirky quizzes. ROI calculators. Augmented actuality product catalogs. Virtual actuality experiences at reside occasions. AI-powered chatbots. From easy, stand-alone belongings to real-time, on-site engagement mechanisms, entrepreneurs of all interactive content material sophistication ranges can design interactive experiences that encourage connection and engagement with their shopping for audiences—and inner stakeholders.

However, after we say experiential content material, we’re not simply speaking about interactivity or leisure parts—that interactivity is intertwined with knowledge and influential voices, one thing that will probably be more and more important in 2020.

“The sheer volume of information and media that confronts people in the business world is overwhelming and often pretty boring,” Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing’s CEO, says. “Creating compelling experiences with interactive content is one way to stand out, differentiate, and optimize for effectiveness. At the same time, buyers don’t trust advertising or brand marketing messages. Co-creating content with trusted experts brings credibility and interest to the brand message.”

Creating compelling experiences with interactive content material is one technique to stand out, differentiate, and optimize for effectiveness. @leeodden #B2BContentMarketing Click To Tweet

Check out our newest interactive asset that includes influential voices.

B2B Marketing Fitness

#2 – Trust 2.zero 

Trust in advertising topped our checklist of 2019 content material advertising traits and predictions. Security breaches, privateness issues, political scandals, and a long-standing mistrust of promoting messages had mixed to create a multi-year streak of falling belief amongst shoppers worldwide.

But client belief started to rebound. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer confirmed that international belief towards enterprise elevated in 21 of 26 markets, together with the U.S. the place 54% of respondents voiced confidence. As we head into 2020, we have to keep the course:

No. 1: Get aware of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). As my colleague Nick Nelson wrote not way back: “Whether through the proliferation of state-level laws like CCPA, or the eventual enactment of a similar federal legislation, it’s only a matter of time before data privacy regulations are in place across the United States.” 

No. 2: Strive to be one of the best reply. For years, this has been TopRank Marketing’s mantra and method, combining artwork and science to create high quality content material that informs, educates, and evokes audiences every time and wherever they’re looking out.

“Best answer content gets back to the basics,” Nick Nelson as soon as wrote. “When done right, it’s all about delivering value and earning trust before you ask for anything.”

But don’t simply take our phrase for it. In August 2019, Google printed a reminder and primer on its core updates—particularly calling out a little bit factor referred to as “E-A-T”, which stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.”

This is a large trace, entrepreneurs. E-A-T up.

“Your model wants to come back off as credible constantly for individuals to belief you,” Margaret Magnarelli, Executive Director of Growth Marketing, Social Media, and search engine optimisation at Morgan Stanley, advised us earlier this 12 months. “[With content created for organic search] you have the opportunity to attract someone from a side door with a specific intent and zero brand awareness; your answer to their question will have a big impact on whether you can be trusted on more consequential matters.”

Your reply to a searcher’s query could have a huge impact on whether or not you will be trusted on extra consequential issues. @mmagnarelli #B2BContentMarketing #TrustInMarketing Click To Tweet

No. three: Align your self with credible, influential voices. As Lee Odden says: “For any kind of content a business creates and publishes to the world, there is an opportunity for collaboration with credible voices that have active networks interested in what those voices have to say.”

Read extra on this topic:

#three – The Continued Rise of Video

Last 12 months’s annual B2B content material advertising benchmarking report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs revealed that 64% of entrepreneurs elevated the audio and visible content material manufacturing. In this 12 months’s report, a whopping 71% of respondents mentioned they’ve used video content material within the final 12 months. To put that into perspective, video content material outranked case research, infographics, webinars, white papers, and eBooks.

Video content material manufacturing will undoubtedly develop amongst B2B entrepreneurs in 2020. And from our perspective, the most important change right here will probably be diversification when it comes to technique and storytelling. 

Currently, video is commonly used as a top-of-funnel tactic. But video will be efficient at each stage of the client journey. So, as entrepreneurs develop extra snug and complex within the video realm, they’ll broaden their video advertising methods to succeed in prospects and nurture prospects. And as video turns into extra ubiquitous, establishing compelling visible narratives would be the key to success.

“If you want to make the best impact and see the highest returns for your video’s investment, you’ve got to SHOW not tell,” Andrew Davis, keynote speaker and bestselling writer, says. “Instead of a talking head or another interview, how can you SHOW me? Spend more time shooting the rest of the story and immediately, you’ll take your videos from drab to show-stopping.”

If you need to make one of the best impression and see the very best returns for your video’s funding, you have to SHOW not inform. @DrewDavisHere #B2BContentMarketing #VideoMarketing Click To Tweet

#four – “Marketer, Play Audio Content

Today’s simple listening radio comes within the type of serialized storytelling: podcasts

Podcast listenership has grown quickly during the last couple years. Nearly 1 / 4 of all podcast listeners have gotten began within the final six months. What’s extra, 51% of the U.S. inhabitants over the age of 12 has listened to a podcast.

In the B2B realm, podcasting’s full potential has but to be unlocked—however extra entrepreneurs will attempt in 2020.

“B2B podcasting today is where content marketing was a decade ago,” Joshua Nite, Senior Content Marketing Manager at TopRank Marketing, says. “It’s emerging as a marketing discipline. People are starting to get sophisticated about deploying and measuring podcasts. We’re seeing new tools to make it easier to launch, promote, and monetize. And despite the thousands of hours of audio out there already, there’s no sign that the market is satiated.”

People are beginning to get subtle about deploying and measuring podcasts… And regardless of the hundreds of hours of audio on the market already, there’s no signal that the market is satiated. @NiteWrites #B2BPodcasting #B2BContentMarketing Click To Tweet

That mentioned, podcasts aren’t the one audio medium that ought to be on entrepreneurs’ minds heading into the New Year. According to current analysis from Edison Research, greater than 53 million Americans now personal a wise speaker—a 36% enhance in only one 12 months.

So, if content material optimized for voice search—or as the youngsters are calling it nowadays, voice-activated content material—didn’t make its means into your 2019 technique, 2020 is the 12 months.

Read: B2B Podcasting: 20 Stats That Make the Marketing Case

#5 – Collaborative Content Ups the Personalization Ante

Content proliferation coupled with evolving client expectations and elevated skepticism and mistrust has created an intensely aggressive panorama. It is understood.

by way of GIPHY

Personalization has arisen a content material advertising savior, aiming to raise experiences by delivering related, one-to-one messaging to present or potential consumers. But the following step within the 2020 personalization sport is collaborative.

Partnering with choose trade influencers and thought leaders, workers, and present prospects or prospects may help you create distinctive, topically-relevant content material for your (mutual) goal audiences.

When it involves influencers, take into account this tidbit from TopRank Marketing’s founder Lee Odden:

“Influencers with complementary domain expertise and networks that combine forces can offer a B2B brand the reach of a major publication but with the credibility and trust of respected influencers.”

As for leveraging prospects and prospects, see what my cohort Nick Nelson has to say on user-generated content material:

“Storytelling is one of the most essential tactics in content marketing, and customer-centricity is among the discipline’s central tenets. UGC presents a way to merge these two by actually making turning your customer into the storyteller. Not only is this an extremely engaging role for the individual whose content is featured, but it makes that content vastly more relatable for those consuming it.”

Finally, ponder what Jay Baer, founding father of Convince & Convert, has to say about worker advocacy:

“If you have a truly differentiated customer experience, something that creates conversations, your employees will naturally echo that and amplify it and connect the dots for potential customers. They will be part of the marketing arsenal.”

#6. A Renewed Commitment to Consistency & Integration

Integrated advertising. Multichannel advertising. Omnichannel advertising. Scope and definitions differ, however the common premises of every method is identical: constantly create constructive model experiences every time and wherever your viewers is looking out.

Regardless of the popular method, entrepreneurs have been pursuing this directive for a number of years. We know that consistency and integration are the keys to successfully telling our manufacturers’ tales and connecting with our audiences. However, within the pursuit of perfection, complexities—and even perhaps some complatency—have crept in.

We’ve added ways. We’ve added channels. We’ve added instruments. But within the midst of all of the additions, have we made huge enhancements within the content material experiences we offer? Have we fallen in set-and-forget mode?

The aforementioned CMI and MarketingProfs examine reveals that 93% of most profitable B2B content material entrepreneurs prioritize the supply of related content material when and the place somebody is most probably to see it—simply 37% of the least profitable entrepreneurs focus right here. So, as expertise continues its rise as a aggressive differentiator, manufacturers and entrepreneurs would do nicely to reassess and renew their commitments to good advertising integration in 2020. 

As expertise continues its rise as a aggressive differentiator, manufacturers and entrepreneurs would do nicely to reassess and renew their commitments to good advertising integration in 2020. @CaitlinMBurgess #B2BContentMarketing Click To Tweet

#7. Data-Informed Content

Every B2B marketer understands the pivotal function knowledge performs in fashionable content material advertising. However, many nonetheless make advertising choices primarily based on gut-feel. Whether they really feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of knowledge out there or they don’t have the correct assortment and analyzation instruments in place, entrepreneurs typically use only a fraction of the information that they’ve at their disposal.

In 2020, those that are in a position to focus their knowledge lens will be capable to create data-informed content material that drives higher experiences.

If you’re scuffling with knowledge high quality, leverage this six-rule framework courtesy of Christopher Penn, Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at Trust Insights:

  1. Clean: Free from errors 
  2. Complete: Not lacking crucial components 
  3. Comprehensive: Answers the questions requested of it 
  4. Chosen: Does not comprise irrelevant data
  5. Credible: Collected with as little bias as doable from dependable sources 
  6. Calculable: Usable by each individuals and machines 

“Data that follows these six rules is data you can use for maximum impact as a B2B marketer, the equivalent of health-giving food,” Christopher says. “Data that breaks these rules is equivalent to junk food, food that steals from your wellness.” 

Clean. Complete. Comprehensive. Chosen. Credible. Calculable. Adhere to the 6 C’s of knowledge high quality and you will be nicely in your technique to B2B advertising health. @cspenn #B2BContentMarketing Click To Tweet

If you’re struggling to determine the “right” knowledge to concentrate on, we recommend specializing in the next buyer knowledge varieties:

  1. Discovery: Where, when, and the way consumers search and discover data that helps them determine an answer.
  2. Consumption: The consumption channels, content material varieties, subjects, codecs, gadgets, and experiences your prospects and prospects desire.
  3. Action: The triggers which have and can encourage a desired motion.

“With buyer discovery, consumption, and action metrics, you’ll know how to create awareness, great customer engagement, and compelling offers that matter to your customers,” Lee Odden says. “And you’ll always know which approach to use to improve your marketing because it will be customer-driven.”

With purchaser discovery, consumption, and motion metrics, you’ll know create consciousness, nice buyer engagement, and compelling presents that matter to your prospects. @leeodden #B2BContentMarketing Click To Tweet

#eight. Visually-Rich Content Focused on Storytelling 

It’s not sufficient to tell consumers. Instead, you should present story-driven, visible content material that connects on mental and emotional ranges. This is crucial within the expertise age.

Visual platforms are the place we spend our time—a development that can completely proceed in 2020. In truth, YouTube is essentially the most broadly used on-line platform amongst U.S. adults, in line with Pew Research Center. Facebook, which has made platform adjustments to make visible content material extra simply accessible, is available in second.

But the visually-rich storytelling doesn’t start or finish with video on social platforms.

“Contrary to popular belief, people do still read traditional content forms like whitepapers, eBooks and case studies,” Michelle Liro, Vice President of Demand Generation at PTC, says. “But first you’ll need to pull them in with attention-grabbing visuals that show them what they’ll get before you tell them what they’ll get.”

Contrary to in style perception, individuals do nonetheless learn conventional content material varieties like whitepapers, eBooks and case research. But first you’ll want to drag them in with attention-grabbing visuals. @michelleliro #B2BContentMarketing Click To Tweet

Take a have a look at this inner advertising instance from Antea Group*. 

With the purpose of training and rallying their workforce of consultants across the relaunch of a core service providing, the agency tapped our workforce to develop an animated eBook that was absolutely steeped in narrative.

Antea Group Remediation eBook

#9. Email Newsletters Make a Comeback

Email advertising isn’t useless. As we not too long ago reported, open charges aren’t in a state of regular, ceaseless decline. In truth, in line with Super Office, the typical charge has typically been growing (or a minimum of remaining regular) year-to-year over the previous decade-plus.

That mentioned, e-mail advertising methods are most undoubtedly in want of a refresh. And from our perspective, the e-mail publication could make a triumphant comeback in 2020.

“My feelings about newsletters are strong,” Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs and achieved e-mail publication purveyor, as soon as advised AWeber. “It’s the one enduring place that we have as marketers, and it’s the place where conversations are most intimate. Newsletters are 100% effective and they’re still the backbone of so many content marketing efforts.”

My emotions about newsletters are sturdy. It’s the one enduring place that now we have as entrepreneurs, and it’s the place the place conversations are most intimate. Ann Handley, @MarketingProfs #B2BContentMarketing Click To Tweet

However, entrepreneurs have to be prepared to place within the work to make sure these intimate conversations construct relationships subsequent 12 months, fairly than serve solely as a gross sales pitch.

“When someone opts into your newsletter and then starts getting overtly pitched right away, it can feel like a betrayal of trust,” Nick Nelson wrote not way back. “As a relatively direct and personal form of marketing communication, email should be used to deliver value and build brand affinity. This is not to say you must avoid any type of lead generation elements in your messages, but make them subtle and sparse.”

three. 2. 1… Look Out 2020, Here We Come!

From experimenting with new mediums corresponding to podcasts or interactive content material to modern storytelling, entrepreneurs can and will play an integral function in crafting and advancing constructive viewers experiences with their manufacturers. 

So, as we head into 2020, ask your self: Is my model poised to ship experiences that go away a long-lasting impression?

Happy New Year, B2B entrepreneurs.

What’s your B2B content material advertising prediction for 2020? What traits are you watching? Tell us within the feedback part beneath.

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